Detours caused by bridge restoration project coming to an end

Posted at 12:49 PM, Feb 14, 2013

RICHMOND, Va (WTVR) -- If you travel during morning rush hour or the evening commute across the Metro, bumper to bumper traffic is what you can expect due in part to the I-95 Bridge Restoration Project.  But the Virginia Department of Transportation said it's almost over as the four-year project is more than half-way complete.

"The Hermitage, the Boulevard Bridge, the ramp coming off 95 to Boulevard and the Westwood Bridge is all completely done," Project Manager Scott Fisher said.

The project is also meeting a financial and timely target.

"I'm happy to say that currently we are on budget and on time and we are going to keep it that way," Fisher said.

$107 million has been allotted to fix up 11 structures.  Each bridge is more than half-a-century old.  So far the project is coming in at $68 million--with the majority being federally funded.  And when it's all over, the bridges are expected to be around for decades.

"We are looking well over 50, more like 75 year life-cycles," Fisher said.

Also part of the construction changes include the widening of some bridges like the Lombardy Street Bridge.  The undertaking is one contractors anticipate may be difficult.

"We are going into our big one which is Lombardy, that is our monster on the project," Fisher said.  "It's big and it's bad."

In the meantime, VDOT is driving home the importance for drivers to be aware.  VDOT has kept commuters informed in every way possible, with billboards, message boards and with the use of social media.

"Eighty-five percent of drivers altered their trip," VDOT spokesperson Dawn Eischen said.  "Eighty-five percent of the people we talked to said because of what they heard either in the news, or something they read on their smartphone or saw on Twitter, they changed their route.  Wow!"

The bridge replacements are anticipated to be complete in June 2014.

For more information about the I-95 Richmond Bridge Restorations project, click here.

Available here are get real-time listings of road conditions and closures in Virginia.